One way that Jeremy and I have tried really hard to save money is by meal planning. I have posted about this before a couple other times and I am proud to say we are still doing this! We sit down every Sunday or Monday and make a plan for our meals for the next week. So far we have tried about 4 new recipes too which has made the new process a lot more fun! My goal (on not busy weeks) is to try 1 new recipe a week.
This week we tried a yummy Pumpkin Bisque. Something that worked perfect for our first measurable snow storm yesterday! The smell of pumpkin warmed the house. Yum!
The Denver Dinner is a huge event for the agency that I work for - The Tennyson Center for Children.
This year the theme was "Being a Hero For Kids". It was a fun evening. This was also our first night away from Jude! He had his very first overnight with his Grandma and Grandpa! Thankfully he did great and so did we!! :O)
Here are a few pictures just for you guys! It is a lot of fun getting all dressed up and hanging out with good people for a good cause!
Article submitted by Kathleen Thomas on behalf of Primrose Schools
The job market is tight right now, and all current studies indicate that the market will be even more competitive in another twenty years. Even in the current job environment, a high school diploma doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to. Most jobs now want a bachelor’s degree, if not a master’s degree. Everyone is looking for something that will give them an edge, and they’re also looking for ways to help their children prepare for the ever changing future. Teaching your child a second language can help him or her prepare for a highly competitive job market.
We truly are part of a global society. Many of our products are coming out of China. Borders are slowly dissolving and there is an ever-growing demand for people who are fully bilingual. Whether you feel that the predominant language in twenty years will be Spanish or Mandarin, the fact is that people who are bilingual will have a marked advantage in their job search over people who are limited to one language. The best time to start teaching your child a second, or even a third, language is when they are just starting to learn their first language.
Teaching your child
There was a time when second languages weren’t introduced until high school. However, research has consistently shown that young children are like sponges and have an incredible ability to learn new languages. It is currently believed that the best time for people to learn a second language is actually when they are in preschool. While a second or third language can be learned at any age, the best time to learn multiple languages is during the preschool years when the brain is the most malleable.
Dr. Fred Genessee is a professor of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal. He reports that young children can learn two or even three languages as easily as they learn one. In fact, there are countries around the world that have known this fact for decades and routinely teach their young children multiple languages. Children have an incredible ability to learn and will pick up and understand a new language much faster than most adults can.
The best way to learn any language is through total immersion. When children hear the language throughout the day, associating the words with actions and objects becomes easy. Anyone who has visited another country and spent a few weeks constantly reading and hearing that language will attest to how effective full immersion is. People who have traveled to other countries with young children are usually astonished at how much of the language their children are able to learn in a short time.
Look for an educational preschool program that offers multiple languages in an immersion program. This will help get your child started as he learns new languages. The additional expense for this program will prove to be a true investment in your child's future. Raising a child who knows multiple languages will prove to be the greatest gift you have ever given her.
Thank you to Kathleen for your great article on Preschool Education. If you would like more information about Primrose Schools or just about education for Toddlers in general please let me know and I will connect you to Kathleen.
When I think of funny, I think of Jude. He makes us laugh all the time.
But I think the worst time for him to make us laugh is when he is being punished or told no. He just looks at us with those big blue eyes and lifts his arms and his shoulders go up – as if to say to us “what? What did I do wrong?”
Now when this happens, which I promise to get on video some day because it is so hard to explain, it is so hard to keep a straight face and continue to say no to him!
We are in trouble – he already knows at 1 year old that his cuteness can get him out of things. Um, yikes! Basically in the last year and a half I have been laughing more than I ever had before.
This kid makes my world perfect!
A funny picture to give you a laugh for your day. This is how Jude wears his bibs now. Helpful right?
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I have always been really into all things scrapbook but once I had Jude my scrapbooking hasn’t been one of my priorities. I was thinking about doing some photo books of our last couple of years and then this came up! Talk about timing right?
I was asked to try out the MyMemories Suite digital scrapbook software and I was thrilled!
Downloading and purchasing the software was easy and fast. Once it was downloaded I could use it! No waiting for shipping or anything.
I browsed through the different layouts of scrapbook pages but what I decided to focus on was a photo book of our recent trip to Barcelona Spain. The book was easy to create and a lot of fun.
When I think back to my “paper” scrapbooking costs verses the cost of this photo book I do not see a huge difference but what I did focus on was the time it took to create an entire vacation in the photo book. I created a 31 page photo book in about 5 days! Oh and no messy paper scraps or glue! Hello!!
The hard cover book will last forever and we will be able to hold our memories of Jude’s first European trip. I never thought I would go to the other side of scrapbooking and dive into the digital world but now that I have a little one taking up most of my free time, digital scrapbooking is the best option for me. Now I just have to get caught up on all of the thousands of pictures we have taken of Jude in the last year! Oh goodness!
Here are a couple pages from our photo book.
My Memories Suite Features:
MY MEMORIES SUITE VERSION 2.0 OFFERS AN EXCITING NEW INTERFACE, INTUITIVE FEATURES, AND A VARIETY OF UNIQUE DESIGNS. FOR THE FIRST TIME IT IS BEING OFFERED VIA DOWNLOAD SO USERS CAN START SCRAPBOOKING IMMEDIATELY!
My Memories Suite 2.0 is a fun and creative way to keep and share memories, whether you have a Mac or PC. The scrapbooking software’s design tools will help you to build entire albums effortlessly using one of the many installed templates, or designing your very own pages from scratch.
Version 2.0 includes 20+ new templates, over 1,500 new papers and over 1,300 new embellishments. There is even a new color swatch library with matching sets of papers and embellishments. And if you're searching for even more templates, visit My Memories Suite’s online Design Shop, which offers a growing library of digital scrapbooking templates, papers, and kits to inspire your creativity!
My Memories Suite Version 2.0 software is bursting at the seams with new features!
With Version 2.0 you can...
• Drag & drop page elements such as embellishments, backgrounds, and layouts from a convenient sidebar with the Resource Gallery.
• Have precise control of your page design with Zoom.
• Position journaling around circular and angled shapes.
• Create your own word art with effects like bevel & emboss, gradients, warping, and more!
• Space elements on your page evenly with advanced align function.
• Search through thousands of embellishments quickly to find the one perfect graphic.
• Layer multiple background papers—perfect for mats, paper strips, frames, and more.
• Combine pages from albums with different shapes.
• Edit your text directly on your page with precision.
• See your effects on your page as you add and adjust them with intuitive preview.
• Duplicate and mirror your pages easily.
• View your page layouts one at a time, or together as double-page spreads.
• Easily share your album with enhanced photobook, calendar, and card wizards.
• Add multiple pictures to your layout quickly with FastFill.
• Burn your creations onto a CD or DVD with better optical device support.
Got you interested yet?
Well you are in luck. If you would like to purchase your own MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking Software make sure you use my Coupon Code! It will save you a total of $20 dollars! The Scrapbooking Software is $39.99 – with my discount you will get it for $29.99 BUT you also get a $10 credit for the MyMemories.com store!
*My Coupon Code = STMMMS53092
(*$10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store...A $20 value!)
Okay, now time for the giveaway information. This giveaway will be moderated by Rafflecopter. One person will be drawn randomly to receive a FREE download of the MyMemories Suite Version 2.0. This will allow you to start creating your own photo books, scrapbook pages, videos and much more! Just follow the simple Rafflecopter instructions and get your name in the drawing!
Some of you may already know this but to my new readers and followers I just want to clarify.
So this is my name:
I know what you are thinking – my name is sen-see or sen-say but it is isn’t.
My name is spelled C-E-N-S-I-E but is said like Kenzie. You know like MacKenzie? But without the Mac and without the K! ;o)
There now I feel like you really “know” me!
My name is Censie (Kenzie) nice to meet you!
My name has brought up a lot of things in my life time and I consistently surprised by the pronunciations I hear and the comments about my name. The best one was when I was in high school and I had a sub in my anatomy class. She called my name (sen-sey) and I responded it is actually Kenzie. Her reply – “wow was your mom on crack when she named you?” Yeah that really happened – anyone want to guess who walked out of that class without permission or a pass? THIS GIRL!
You are probably wondering why my parents chose Censie for my name. Here is the story. My mother’s name is Carol, her middle name starts with a J and our last name starts with an M. They loved the name Kenzie so the improvised because they really wanted my mom and I to have the same initials. So that is how they came up with my name Censie J. M… Now it does go further. My dad’s name is R. John M…. They named my brother R. Jarrin M…. So we had (until I got married) the matching initials of CJM and RJM.
Fun! But for the most part, after I explain the pronunciation I get complements. It is fun and hard having a different name.
Another book read!I am on a roll!Too bad December is just around the corner, I am pretty sure I will not be hitting my 11 books in 2011 but I am trying!!;o)
Now, let me first give some background on me before I jump into the review on this book.I am a Christian – Lutheran to be exact.I was brought up in a Lutheran church and school and have continued my church going ways as I have grown into an adult.Of course my views, morals and political qualities have changed as I have gotten older but my belief in God has not.I believe there is a Heaven and a God.I believe in Faith as well.
Even with that Lutheran background and belief I was a little resistant to picking up this book and reading it.I was afraid it was going to be a “Holy Roller” through JESUS in your face sort of book and that is not what I wanted to read!I decided that I would try the book and see if I enjoyed it.
I read this book in ONE sitting!Yeah, I know!Crazy!!On our way from Denver to Philly on the plane.And to be honest, I cried!I cried while reading this book on a PLANE!LOLI blame my tears on being a mother.The idea of my son leaving the earth for even 1 second before me makes my heart hurt!
Time for my review:
This was a fast read for me.A good book for discussion.A good book for reassurance that you will see your loved ones again in Heaven.A good book for individual thought on your faith, your religious beliefs and your family.
Colton is the main character of this book.He is 4 years old and is deathly sick with appendicitis.During a major surgery to save his life he “leaves” his body while on the surgical table and goes to Heaven.
His family has no idea (appears the doctors didn’t know about him “leaving” either) that he had this out of body Heaven experience but as he heals he randomly starts telling his family and some family friends about his trip.
Some of the stories you could relate to him knowing these prophesies about Heaven because his father is a Pastor of their church – however there are some things that he experienced and talks about that really make you feel like there is no doubt in the world that he visited Heaven.
I wish I could tell you all of the great stories but I can’t!You have to read this on your own.Even if you are not religious I think you will enjoy this book.After reading this book I have had a ton of great discussions with others about their thoughts on Heaven and what happens after you die.
This little boy has an amazing story to tell and I think he will surprise you with the things he experienced.
Have you read this?If so, I would love your thoughts!
Last weekend we went out to my Aunt and Uncle's "Ranch" in Bennett Colorado. For those of you that do not know where Bennett is, it is out in the middle of nowhere eastern Colorado. Beautiful land and home.
We decided that Jude was old enough for Aunt Becky to take him on his very first horseback ride! We wondered how he would react to such a tall and big animal and thought he might hate it. Well we were completely wrong!
We should have known he was going to laugh and giggle the whole time because that is who Jude is!
All boy - no fear!
Aunt Becky was thrilled to know that she has a little horseback buddy in the making. I bet in a couple of years Jude will be staying at the Ranch helping do chores and taking care of the animals with Aunt Becky.
It was a fun day at the ranch - so fun that Jude was sooooo tired and we got an awesome night of sleep for us all! lol Thank you to my Aunt and Uncle!
Jeremy went for a ride too and Jude went with him for a little while.
Want to win a Kindle? Or how about 50 bucks? Or a fantastic make-up set?
Thanksgiving is right around the corner which means Christmas is too! Time to treat yourself to an early gift from me! ;o)
I want you to win - one of my lovely readers!
This is not a review but it is just a THANK YOU to you all for being so great and sticking with me during my blog growing pains.
If you are interested all you have to do is follow the EASY instructions that Rafflecopter has below. This blog giveaway is being done on 14 other blogs - please join their blogs too, they have fun blogs! I am so excited to be working with such a fun group of blogging women!
The giveaway winners will be announced on November 17, 2011 (a week before Thanksgiving) but the actual Giveaway will be October 17-21!
To win this giveaway, it’s MANDATORY that you follow ALL of the participating blogs via Google Friend Connect. The other links to Twitter or Facebook are OPTIONAL but in order to win any of the prizes, you have to follow all of the blogs via GFC.
I know, it is a weird post – especially on a family/baby blog but to be honest it is a part of our life all the time but we do not talk about it in public very often.
Some of my long time readers might already know that Jeremy suffers from this horrible disease and has had 2 hospital stays from it. Needless to say it is something that really affects us as individuals but also as a family. We are always worried when Jeremy starts feel like a flair coming on and hoping that the awful steroids will help his body chill out. That anxiety of not knowing what is going on inside his body is the worst.
Ulcerative Colitis/Crhon's Disease Awareness Owl
Well about 3 weeks ago Jeremy had a checkup with his GI doc – we were beyond nervous. We thought for sure we would be leaving the doctor’s office with horrible news of a possible surgery because of how bad he was flared. Just to be clear – the surgery we were worried about was a colostomy bag, um yeah Jeremy is 30 years old so that was a horrible thought.
Well we didn’t leave that office in tears or upset but we did leave in shock – really I know!
But GOOD SHOCK – if there is such a thing.
JEREMY’S COLON IS HEALED!
Amazing words that we heard out of his GI doc’s mouth. The medication he is using every other week is working, it healing from the inside out. He has been instructed to get off of all the steroids and focus on a healthy lifestyle. We are ecstatic. I think we are both so relieved that his body is healed and still healing that we will both be healthier. No more stressing out. No more issues of worrying about having that scary surgery.
Jeremy will always suffer from Ulcerative Colitis but right now he is in remission and we are happy. I will not go into details her on the blog, because it isn’t a pleasant issue to deal with but I encourage you to google/bing Ulcerative Colitis and be informed. You would be very surprised how many people now a days deal with some sort of Colitis or IBS.
For all of you that have been praying for Jeremy – thank you! Your support is amazing.
Can you do me a favor? Click for a vote! Thank you!!
We did take a minor break on the planner when we went to Barcelona and then that week we returned to the States. I had to go out of town for business and Jeremy had a lot of doctor appointments that week.
BUT we are back and I am happy to share with you that we have had 2 full weeks of meal planning and less eating out. Woot!!
Last night we tried a new recipe called Mini Pizza Meatloaf. I must say, a success!! I enjoyed these and so did Jeremy. And talk about fast and easy! Hello!! This will be a recipe that stays in our recipe box for years to come! Yummy!
Here is the recipe:
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef or 93/7 turkey
1/2 C. pizza sauce
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs or whole wheat crumbs
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. pizza sauce for glaze
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Wear rubber gloves for easy clean up.
Use an ice cream scooper to scoop into 12 ct. muffin tin.
Top with pizza sauce and more cheese.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
We ended up with 16 pieces. Plenty for left over lunches! Yummy!!
Today I am linking up with Toddle Along Tuesday! I love these ladies - great blogs and great kiddos.
Make sure you check them out here!
The selected theme for today is writing about something that you love about your kiddo. Well that is a hard topic to get into because I love everything about Jude. He is my world but the first thing that I thought about when I read the theme is this video.
Oh my gosh!
It still makes me laugh and cry when I watch it. This was taken late Janurary of 2011. Jude was about 7 months. My mom and Jude still play this game and his laugh is just as great.
So to answer the question of the day - HIS LAUGH, HIS SMILE, and HIS SILLY NATURE.
Rockabye Baby released their 5 Year Anniversary 2-CD limited-ed set in September and Jude was so excited to be able to be one of the few to be able to review said discs! Well in all honesty, Jeremy and I were probably more excited!
This 2-CD set features exclusive new songs as well as Rockabye Baby's most requested nursery jams. We are loving the Elton John song! The 2 CD's are broken up into the "Good Day" CD and the "Good Night" CD - hello cleaver!
We love Rockabye! I know I have said this many times but with out Rockabye Baby CD's Jeremy and I would be sleepy people! lol With out our Rockabye Baby fix we would be zombies - bottomline!
So Rockabye Baby went big so we decided that Building Our Story needed to go big too. All of you are in for a treat!!
Check this out:
Um, yeah that is a lot of swag! And each one of you have the chance to win it all!!
Here is the deal. Rockabye Baby loves our readers (Yes you!) so if you win you will receieve your very own copy of the 2-CD Limited Edition Set from Rockabye but also the following items from my great sponsers and friends.
A "Mommy Moments" Journal from Shannon at Sweet Stellas. A great and convientant journal to keep with you in your diaper bag or purse to help you remember those small yet amazing memories that you share with your child(ren).
And one more thing - Rockabye Baby ROCKS - we knew that but with your new CDs you can show off your love for Rockabye and dress the kiddo up in the fun Rockabye Baby onesie! Thanks Rockabye!
Well, now that I have explained what swag will be given away it is time for me to plee with you for jsut a moment. You will enter this giveaway using Rafflecopter (love them!) and even though the entries do not have you do all of this please too!! I want you to visit each and every one of these lovely ladies and give them your "like" on facebook, follow them on twitter, shop from their esty shoppes, tell your friends about their blogs and just give them love!! With that, I leave you to your entries.
Tell your friends and invite them to Building Our Story - remember if we get to 100 followers, you will get something from me!! Lucky you!
Oh one more thing - if and only if you think we ROCK the Top Baby Blogs please vote for us right now too!
Thats right - we are heading out on another vacation very soon!
We are totally taking advantage of the free flyer in Jude! We have about 8 months left of that free benefit so we are running with it!
This time we are headed to Little Rock, Arkansas. We are going to visit my bestie, Lauren and her husband Jared. They are also Jude's Godparents! So it will be a great time with them. Lauren already has our vacation planned! I am looking forward to the fall weather and visiting. I know Lauren and Jared will be so surprised at how much Jude has grown. :O) Pictures do not do him justice! lol
So as I sit here dreading going to work tomorrow - I am counting down the days until we get another break from the "real world"! November 10th cannot come soon enough!
Link up with Jenni from the Blog here!
What are your 3 words?
Can you do me a favor? Click for a vote! Thank you!!
Time to call you all out! We want you to become public!
You know, make it known that you like checking in on us and Building Our Story. Just do it, click Follow on the left side bar and become a valued public folower.
Right now we have 94 public followers and once we hit 100 I will begin planning a giveaway. Not sure what it will be but it will be from my pocketbook - something fun for sure! So if you are on of the 70 private viewers now is the time to join up.
On top of becoming a public follower on the blog make sure you also "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
And one more request, I know I am being needy this morning. Sorry!! lol Welcome to Jeremy's world!
Give us a vote on Top Baby Blogs! We are new to this site and would love your daily click - each day and every day!
Okay, I am done asking for you to do things but if you are bored make sure you visit my October Sponsers if you have a chance. They are all great!
Last weekend we had a date night. A child free 5 hours!! Lovely!! After the stress of health issues (more on that later) Jeremy and I really needed that time together.
First we headed to dinner at the Rock Bottom Brewery and enjoyed a nice dinner together. After dinner we went painting. Yeah my new obsession!!
There is this place just north of us called Whimsey Paint and Sip. I have been there now 4 times, running out of room for my paintings!! But it is so much fun. They teach you a painting and you just go for it! I am not an artist, I never have been, but each time that I have left that place I feel confident and proud of my paintings!!
So here we are with our new paintings!!
I think we did great!
After painting we decided that we needed some more time to just sit and talk so we went to Village Inn for pie! Yum!
What a great night for us both.
Date nights are great, wish we could have them more often but with work, family and life we will just take the ones we can.